It’s National Mac & Cheese Day and I’m celebrating by sharing my favorite homemade Mac & Cheese Recipe with you!
Garlic, Bacon & Beer Macaroni & Cheese
6 Strips bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
4 Tablespoons butter, divided
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
2 cups milk
3/4 cup stout beer
1 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of fresh cracked pepper
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Wispride or Kaukauna brand sharp cheddar cheese spread (found in the dairy aisle)
8 oz elbow macaroni
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Garnish: fresh thyme leaves and a couple pinches barbecue seasoning
- Heat oven to 350F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons butter with the flour over medium heat, whisking until bubbly. Cook 2 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon thyme and cook an additional minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and beer. Heat, stirring constantly, a couple minutes until quite warm but not boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low, add both cheese, salt, and pepper and cook, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in half the bacon.
- Cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions in salted water. Drain and add to the cheese sauce. Transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
- In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the panko, remaining 1/2 thyme, and remaining bacon. Sprinkle over the macaroni. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Serve garnished with fresh thyme leaves and a pinch of BBQ seasoning.
- Yield: 6-8 servings.